Australians embrace the sharing economy

Hot off the press is the RateSetter Sharing Economy Trust Index (RSETI). RSETI, the first survey of its kind in Australia, provides a comprehensive overview of the nation’s confidence in and use of the rapidly expanding sharing economy.

Broadly speaking, the ‘sharing economy’ describes the set of new businesses that utilise technology to connect consumers directly, with a focus on the sharing of goods or services, the reuse of excess capacity in goods and services, or providing friction-less marketplaces where consumers share in the benefits of low platform costs and fast and efficient processes, such as, personal lending. Sharing economy services include:

  • Ride-Sharing services such as Uber
  • Car Sharing services such as CarNextDoor
  • Accommodation Sharing services such as Airbnb
  • Peer to Peer Lending services such as RateSetter
  • Online Marketplaces for Goods such as eBay
  • Task Outsourcing services such as Airtasker
  • Crowd Funding websites such as Kickstarter

We see the sharing economy profoundly and permanently impacting how Australian consumers buy and sell goods, consume services and share surplus resources. So we think that it is important to know how Australians feel about it – and how these new businesses are changing our behaviour.

We intend to release the index on a regular basis to uncover trends in the sharing economy.

Encouragingly, the survey showed that Australians have a strong appetite for the benefits that the Sharing Economy can bring, and we expect the number of Australians involved in both consuming and providing sharing economy services will continue to grow rapidly. Key insights from the survey:

  • 61% of Australians have used a sharing economy service – such as Uber, Airbnb and eBay – in the previous six months and 85% intend to use one in the next year. Newer sharing economy services such as peer-to-peer lending indicate the biggest relative potential for growth in usage
  • More than half (52%) of Australians trust a sharing economy service more than its traditional alternative
  • A quarter of Australians say they feel more confident about dipping their toes in the sharing economy compared to the same time last year
  • The RSETI saw P2P online marketplaces like eBay and Gumtree coming out on top as the most commonly used (56%) and trusted (74%) sharing economy service for Australians
  • While almost a quarter (23%) of Australians spend at least $50 a month on P2P economy services, 25-34 year olds pump the most money into the Sharing Economy, averaging a monthly spend of $116
  • Meanwhile, 64% of Australians say they would consider using a sharing economy service to supplement their income. Platforms that specifically assist participants to earn additional funds, including peer-to-peer investing, accommodation sharing and car sharing are expected to be meaningful contributors to Australians’ incomes in future

This information does not constitute financial advice and you should consider whether it is appropriate to your circumstances before you act in reliance on it. Any opinions, forecasts or recommendations reflect the judgement and assumptions of RateSetter as at the date of publication and may later change without notice.

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